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In the City


Messiah College students in PhiladelphiaUsed to the hustle and bustle of city life and wondering if you can handle the peace and quiet of life in Grantham? Used to the quiet country life and want to experience life in a big city?


Messiah offers a variety of residential urban experiences.

  • Philadelphia Campus — this unique living-learning environment allows you to live in the heart of Philly with other Messiah students while taking classes at Temple University.
  • Harrisburg Institute — a newly renovated facility on Dewberry Street in Harrisburg is home to students who take classes at the Grantham campus but live and serve in the Capital City. Transportation is provided between Harrisburg and Grantham.
  • Los Angeles, New York City and Washington, D.C. — through Best Semester programs and other partnerships coordinated by the College's Education Abroad Office, film students can study in L.A., art students in the Big Apple, and journalism students in the nation's capital.
  • London, Rome and other faraway places — Your education abroad experience doesn't have to be stateside. You can set out for a big city halfway around the world!

If you want to experience city life but not necessarily live it, you will find plenty of opportunities to serve in urban areas through community service and mission trips sponsored by the Agape Center for Service and Learning. The on-campus Ernest L. Boyer Center and Sider Institute also do a lot of good work in partnership with the Harrisburg School District.


Messiah College student and subway

Lastly, if you just want to catch a Broadway show or wander around the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Student Activities Board sponsors a New York City trip once or twice a semester at a reasonable rate.


Lives and perspectives changed by life in the city

Laura spent the spring 2010 semester at the Philly campus (MCPC) and blogged about her experiences. At the end of the term she reflected on some of the things she learned while living in the city.


1) "I have so much. I spent so much time working with children and meeting many people that opened my eyes to the struggles in the U.S. I didn't need to go to another country to help out, people are everywhere in need of the kindness of others."


2) "I had never really experienced diversity. It was cool to be exposed to all different cultures this semester. Going to all kinds of restaurants, different churches, and even just walking to class I learned so much about people. I guess this one is kind of hard to explain, but I would not have thought that I would have come across so many differences in the short time I was there."


3) "Community is wonderful. I had heard about the idea a lot at Grantham, but I think growing close to so many people at MCPC this semester I realized how great it can [be]. Having people you can trust and talk to anytime after just meeting a few months before is great. It is crazy that we all came from different groups at Grantham and formed a new group at MCPC. I will miss it. "


Student Perspectives

Watch videos or read the Philadelphia campus blog for students' perspectives about the opportunities and challenges of living in inner city Philly. Rachel Moffet `09, elementary education, recalls her special relationship with Norbert, a kid from inner-city Harrisburg that she formed a friendship with while tutoring at a city community center.